2007 was the year I left everything I owned in a towering heap on my driveway: a pillar of dust, lost hope, and chewed ends. It was Spring when I left and the ground in my prairie city was still brown, half-frozen.
If I looked closely, I could see feisty green blades of grass scrapping their way up to the light, toward new warming sun. I sat in the backseat of my own Jeep, holding my baby’s hand, as we drove away from my little house for the very last time. Tears filled my eyes and I felt like vomiting. I couldn’t imagine it would ever get better. I couldn’t imagine my heart would ever be right again. The only reason I had for garnering even a shred of hope, was that wide eyed tiny boy in the seat beside me. I needed to find the sun for him.
It’s now the dusk of 2008, a year and a half later. My little boy - the one who is running and laughing and expressing his own opinions - is with his Dad and paternal grandparents this week for the holidays.
I expected to feel a vast emptiness the minute I dropped him off with his Father. But he kissed my cheek and squeezed me in a shockingly strong little hug and said,”I have fun Mommy. I will see you very soon.”
I looked at him and touched his cheek, amazed at his adaptability, his good naturedness, the way he finds happiness in everything.
He touched my hair and looked at me with that tilted-head stare of his:
“I will call you,” he said solemnly, and he is a boy of his word and so I kissed his head and retreated to my car, blowing kisses. He is OK and so am I.
2008 has been an incredible year. I am inspired by my boy, filled with hope for the future, and buoyed (and still somewhat surprised) by my own ability to take care of us both: and do it well. I am incredibly grateful for my family, for the healing power of the ocean and the mountains, for twenty-year friends and brand new ones in this city of my youth.
I’m grateful too, for my corner of the Internet, where I can write, and fret, and take a deep inhalation and share our story to a willing audience. That is an incredible thing.
I’ve found peace, and I hope you have, too
Thank you so much for reading and commenting and sharing your stories here, this year. This is one of my favorite places to write, and that’s because all of you. Wishing you heartfelt joy, uncontrollable belly laughter, and lots of gingerbread this holiday season!